A personal follow-up note after the Adoption Trafficking Awareness Symposium
Editor's Note: People from around the nation and world traveled (on one of the worst air travel weekends in recent history) and Zoomed to be part of this landmark event held in Tacoma, WA. It is a testimony to our passion for the cause of truth and transparency - and curtailing of corrupt practices - in adoption. CTTA International Liaison Janine Myung-Ja pictured below with event speakers (bottom row, third from right) offers some unexpected personal reflections on the event. Watch for a forthcoming follow-up piece.
Dear Friends of the Coalition for Truth and Transparency in Adoption:
I’m so happy that Richard Uhrlaub, of CTTA, could come to Washington State for the inaugural Adoption Trafficking Awareness Symposium at the Washington State History Museum on June 18, 2022. It was really awesome to finally meet Rich in person. Based on our previous boardroom meet-ups, I already knew he is street-smart gained from numerous years of experience in the field of rights for adopted people. But upon meeting him in person, I could immediately see that he is truly a kind and considerate individual—and a listener—in my honest opinion, a rare gem.
My head was spinning in one million directions the entire weekend – or even prior to that weekend – but somehow, someway, I managed to pull things together and word on the street has been that the educational event was a resounding phenomenal success by this who attended and those who participated. It's been more than a week since and my sister is still receiving emails from attendees seeking more. Everyone involved, from the panelists to the presenters, played an invaluable role in making the day amazing.
I had wanted to bring this educational program to life in 2019 because I believe the investigational fieldwork of Against Child Trafficking founded upon Arun Dohle’s expertise and experience should be worldwide known. (He can also be found inside Adoptionland: From Orphans to Activists). I was absolutely appalled by the disrespect he endured from the adoption lobby and its followers throughout the years. No human should have to endure abuse in such a manner—particularly a field investigator and human rights expert. I learned of Arun back in the early 2000s when all we had were Yahoo groups (no Facebook or Twitter etc.), while I was researching for my second memoir The Search for Mother Missing. Unfortunately, in 2019, the COVID crisis occurred and I wasn’t able to make the symposium happen due also to the hospitalization of my adoptive father. But, now that most of us have acclimated to “COVID culture,” I figured it’s time to bring awareness to the public so that finally, we, the people (most impacted by international adoption) can address the travesties against local and global marginalized communities and thus humanity as a whole.
I am so thankful to my sister (of the Vance Twins) for curating and coordinating the program. She actually quit her job to bring the symposium to life and it took eight months of solid preparation from as early as she woke until late at night. My sister has the ability to be able to connect, collaborate, and engage with so many varying personalities from all over the world. In fact, I think that is the reason for the consistency of Adoption Truth and Transparency Worldwide Information Network (ATTWIN). She’s very skilled in that department (unlike me) but because we’re twins I get some of the credit for her magnetic personality. My sister refuses to tolerate any bullying from the adoption special-interest groups and their allies. She is fierce.
There’s been interest in potential Town Hall meetings by those of us most impacted by adoption (adopted people) versus agenda-driven agencies whose priority is to save the face of international adoption. If you are interested in participating, details will be posted at www.AdoptionHistory.org.
Want to know a behind-the-scenes secret? I Love the 80s. Therefore, I was delighted to learn that the President of CTTA knows how to dance to 80s music! BTW: My sister and my 50th birthday party was a blast (Pics will be posted on the Vance Twins website).
Until we meet again, take care!
International Liaison Boardmember, CTTA